Thai Union surpasses its 2020 sustainable tuna commitment, new progress report shows

Some 87 percent of Thai Union Group PCL’s branded tuna was sourced from MSC certified fisheries and Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) in 2020, surpassing its target of 75 percent and putting it on track to hit its goal of 100 percent.

This is according to the Company’s just published progress report updating the achievements made against its Tuna Commitment for 2020, which is part of its pledge to transparency through its global sustainability strategy, SeaChange®.

During the past five years of the Tuna Commitment between 2016 -2020, Thai Union made significant progress towards greater seafood traceability and sustainability, including:

  • Developing and implementing nine tuna FIPs, with the progress of each rated and verified independently by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and made publicly available
  • Advocating for improved fisheries management measures to be adopted at regional/ocean levels
  • Installing electronic monitoring systems on longline vessels to increase transparency and number of vessels with coverage
  • The further development of the FAD Watch project in the Seychelles
  • Joining the Ocean Disclosure Project, providing full transparency of our global seafood sourcing
  • Conducting third party audits of human rights and social standards on fishing vessels in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans
  • Participating in several multi-stakeholder groups to address industry challenges, such as the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship, the Global Ghost Gear Initiative and the UN Global Compact for the Sustainable Development Goals
  • 100 percent compliant with the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation conservation measures, of which Thai Union’s Kevin Bixler has been appointed Chair of its Board of Directors

As part of the progress report, Thai Union has also introduced its Tuna Commitment up to 2025, which includes a commitment that “by 2025, the tuna Thai Union sources will be from vessels and suppliers that demonstrate Operational Best Practice to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and modern slavery.” The updated commitment reflects the needs of customers and stakeholders and supports the evolving dialogue on seafood sustainability.

A key element of the 2025 commitment is a partnership with The Nature Conservancy to work towards implementing 100 percent ‘on-the-water’ monitoring of Thai Union’s tuna supply chain by 2025, which will include the deployment of electronic monitoring on vessels in the Company’s international tuna supply chains.

Thai Union’s work will continue to build on the work achieved in the Tuna Commitment between 2016-2020 by further supporting suppliers who are engaged in FIPs and support the FIPs to transition into Marine Stewardship Council assessment. Supporting continuous improvement remains at the heart of the Tuna Commitment 2025, which is also underpinned by Thai Union’s Policy for the Responsible Sourcing of Tuna published in 2020. Traceability remains the backbone of Thai Union’s sustainability strategy, while progressing to achieve the interoperability work of the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) is a priority.

“I’m incredibly proud of the progress that Thai Union has made towards our goal of ensuring 100% of our branded tuna is from sustainable fisheries,” said Thiraphong Chansiri, President and CEO of Thai Union. “But we know we have a lot more work to do, which is why we have set new goals for 2025. Traceability remains critical to achieving these goals, and we will continue to work with our customers and stakeholders to ensure these are met, reflecting our commitment to prevent modern slavery and IUU fishing in our supply chains.”

Thai Union will continue to develop measurable milestones in 2021 and will publish its annual results against these milestones up to 2025.

You can read the full Tuna Commitment – 2021 Progress Report here.

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